Hey guys! Welcome back and I hope you enjoyed reading ‘I left my heart in Bali part 1‘. In this part you can find out about Gili Trawangan, the famous Ayana Resort and Uluwatu- the surfers paradise!
You know the score, grab yourself a cuppa and enjoy some more Bali bliss.
Is this paradise?
Arriving at Gili T was almost surreal. I’ve never visited an island like it before. Hopping off the boat into the crystal clear ocean was so refreshing. I’ll admit, getting to Kupa Kupa Lodge was not easy with 2 heavy rucksacks, 2 smaller rucksacks and a surfboard, it was definitely a challenge. Once we finally got to the lodge we received the warmest welcome. Adi helped us with our bags and showed us to our very own tree house. Adi left and returned with two fresh pineapple juices for us, we chatted for a while until he left us to settle in.
A day spent in our Gili tree house
Unfortunately, Max was sick for our first day on Gili T so, I pretty much spent the day in our hammock chilling. Adi and Sean (our hosts at Kupa Kupa lodge) couldn’t have been more hospitable. They went out to fetch some ginger tea, offered to cook him a meal and Sean accompanied me to get pizza in the evening so I wasn’t alone in the dark. Out of our entire stay this was the best in terms of hospitality- there wasn’t a job too much for Sean and Adi. And all for £12 a night, with breakfast included, which I didn’t know was included. Also, Adis banana pancakes were THE best I’ve ever had! I highly recommend Kupa Kupa if you are visiting Gili T.
An unexpected guest
After spending the day and evening in the tree house we started to settle down for bed. Before we did though we had a guest, two in fact. Seabell and Lara, the cats of Kupa Kupa lodge. We were told that the cats loved crisps, so I got a packet earlier in the day. Many crisps later the cats disappeared after getting what they wanted, what cats do best! But then, as I got into bed I noticed Seabell looking rather comfortable next to my pillow and then Lara spread out on the floor by the side of my bed. And there they stayed. I had a lovely snuggle buddy purring by my head all night. Damn! I love cats!
A tick off the bucket list
On our second day we arranged to go on a snorkelling trip. Max was luckily feeling better so we could spot some turtles. Sean kindly booked everything for us and also got us a discount with his friend. Sean then showed us to the meeting point where he left us to enjoy our day.
The captain of our boat was so much fun. He literally gave everyone a nickname. So, Max was ‘O’Neil’ because he had an O’Neil rash top on and I was ‘Bling Bling’ because my bikini had jewels on it.
The boat stopped just off Gili Meno and we all jumped in the water. I was so ready to find some turtles. I must admit, I actually only booked to go to Gili T to see the turtles so my heart was depending on finding one! Our luck was in! We saw many turtles, fish and the beautiful coral, it was amazing. Well, apart from choking on a load of extremely salty sea water with excitement. We weren’t allowed to go to close as not to frighten them away from the area but you could see them perfectly in the water. One actually surfaced very close to us which was incredible to see, it swam so gracefully, it was so beautiful. Definitely a massive tick off of my bucket list.
Island bike ride, yes please!
After snorkelling and lunch on Gili Air we headed back to Kupa Kupa and hired bikes. We rode along one side of the island, heading for the famous sunset spot. It turns out there’s not just the one spot, there are many. We rode around to find where we’d like to settle and watch the sunset. We stopped at The Exile, this is one of the spots with the famous Gili swing, so if you want that sunset, swing snap definitely head there. I’d get there early as people were queuing for their photos. Luckily, we got a snap just before the sun got too low, so we could relax and enjoy the sunset. And, what a sunset it was. Beautiful views and reggae music- perfect!
We made a friend
Later that evening Max and myself were heading out for pizza. As I climbed down our tree house ladder I couldn’t help notice Sean was dressed very smart with his tropical shirt on. I said “where are you going, a party?” He said “no, I’m coming with you!” And that he did. Sean joined us for some pizza and chit chat. He then took Max’s hand and started to read his palm. Now, I appreciate not everyone will believe in this sort of thing but I’m a very spiritual person and what Sean said about Max and myself was so spot on I was in awe! Sean had an amazing aura about him and he made our trip to Gili so memorable. And Adi, sorry I can’t forget Adi!
Later that evening Sean pulled me aside and handed me a gift. He gave me a red jasper bracelet which his spiritual teacher gave to him and it was bought in Kazakhstan. I was so chuffed, it really meant a lot to me. Thank you 🙏🏼
Our trip to Gili was short but sweet. I think 2 days would be plenty to get to see everything. If you want to fully take it in and maybe even party a little then 3 days would be a good shout.
As a parting gift to Sean we got him Moss Agate, otherwise known as ‘the gardeners stone’ which was quite fitting seeing as Sean was the Kupa Kupa gardener. We said our goodbyes and waited for our boat back to Bali. Next stop Ayana Resort.
Ayana, the biggest resort in Bali but is it worth it?
The Ayana Resort is absolutely beautiful. It’s so picturesque with it’s stunning gardens. There are 12 pools at the resort but we didn’t have time to see them all as we only had a 1 night stay. I’d recommend staying for at least 2 nights to make the most of it. As beautiful as the hotel was it does come at a cost. Our evening meal came to around 800,000 altogether. We had garlic bread, ravioli and pizza with 2 drinks. That’s around £45. The food was amazing but it came with a hefty price. Then there was the breakfast, now this stung me, it cost us £25 EACH for breakfast, BREAKFAST! It was all you can eat and again the food was amazing but we’d eaten food just as nice if not nicer for a quarter of the price. I was so excited to stay here as I’ve seen and read so much about it and it really was stunning but it came at a cost. We enjoyed my stay in a £12 a night treehouse more. Maybe I’m just low maintenance and definitely a low budget kinda girl haha! Maybe I should have skipped breakfast, I can’t justify £50 on breakfast guys!
Uluwatu is one of the quieter places in Bali and boasts some of the best waves in the world. In fact, Uluwatu is ranked one of the top 10 surf spots worldwide. So, having a surfer for a boyfriend it was a must to go here.
We spent our last 5 days here and it was pure bliss. Our home stay at Uluwatu Beach House was incredible, Carolina couldn’t have been more welcoming.
There was a restaurant right next door and the food was delicious and then the beach was a 15minute walk away. We also walked to Uluwatu temple from our home stay which was roughly 20minutes away, so our location was spot on.
What is that noise?
Staying in a bungalow made of mainly bamboo with a thatched roof you kind of expect to hear night time critters outside. But, was it outside? There was a noise Max and myself heard on a few occasions at night whilst in Bali and I can only describe the sound as something like a rubber duck. I know, strange right?!
So, one night we heard it whilst eating at the restaurant next to our bungalow and decided to Google – ‘bird? Rubber duck sound? Bali?’ Well, it was no bird, it was in fact a Tokay Gecko. This really shocked me, but it was their mating call that we kept hearing. Anyway, the next night we was sleeping and I heard the sound of the gecko, but this time it was INSIDE our room. Now, I’m not one to freak out but these geckos can be quite big and when it’s pitch black, well, you freak out! I woke Max up, literally shaking him! “Max, it’s here, it’s in here!” He shoots up, like what? We get the torch and it’s right there! On the bamboo, above our heads!! We was sleeping under it! What could we do, nothing, so we just went back to sleep while the gecko was making his mating call. Cheers Mr. Gecko!
If you come across a Tokay Gecko on your travels do not attempt to touch it. They can be really aggressive. Check them out on YouTube.
Suluban beach also known as Blue Point beach is where you can find some good surf.
To get to the beach requires a walk down many steps and through some of the street market. There’s a few more steps, which are pretty narrow that lead you into the caves. You have to go through the caves to get to the beach. Sounds like an adventure, right? It definitely is.
You need to duck under more caves to get through to the beach, it’s really tucked away, almost like a secret beach or like walking through the wardrobe to Narnia, except you walk through a cave to loads of sand. It was cool anyway! This entire spot is hardly touched, the beach is a small quiet strip with a couple of locals selling some bits. Sarong, anyone?
If you fancy more of a beach view with a cocktail then definitely head to Single Fin. The food is amazing and the view is outstanding. Single Fin is the highest spot from the beach and you get the birds eye view with it. However, Max and myself ate at a view of the bar/cafes and they were all really nice and cheaper than Single Fin 🙂
There are a few things in Uluwatu that are a must see. Uluwatu Temple is definitely one of them. But, the visit isn’t about just browsing the beautiful temple surroundings, at the end of your visit you have the choice to watch the traditional Kecak Dance. Pura Uluwatu is one of the best spots to watch this incredible performance. Tickets were 100,000 each and it was totally worth it. Kecak dance is a Captivating traditional Balinese art that involves a large group of men chanting “Keh-Chak” for the entire performance. The story of Ramayana unfolds with dancers playing the popular characters. We watched in awe as the sun set to the right of the clifftops.
To say this was my favourite holiday would be an understatement. I have never experienced a place like Bali. The beautiful scenery, the kind and friendly people and the monkeys. Joke. Definitely not the monkeys!
If anyone has any questions about my trip please just leave a comment 🙂
I hope that anyone who comes across this blog will put Bali on their travel list for the future.
I will most definitely be going back ❤️